Creative excellence through self-inquiry and life writing
A profile by The Shift Network notes:
Mark Matousek “is a bestselling author, teacher and speaker whose work focuses on personal awakening and creative excellence through self-inquiry and life writing.”
He says “My books and classes focus on the transformative power of writing for personal awakening.”
Learn more about his teachings in a free presentation [March 2018]:
The power of writing –
“Scientific studies show that as little as fifteen minutes of writing a day can improve physical and mental health, increase psychological empowerment, emotional healing, social intelligence, and creative growth.”
A previous webinar page asks:
Would you like to discover deeper truths about who you are and what’s possible for your life?
You may be surprised to hear that your personal writings can be a powerful spiritual practice that frees you from stuck energies, old ideas, and stagnant visions.
In fact, there’s remarkable new science that shows that journaling, if done in the right way, can help us metabolize the past (or the present) in a way that opens us to more creativity, expanded possibilities and a whole new story for our life.
Exploring our shadow self to more fully realize our creativity
“Our shadows contain not only the dark parts — guilt, shame, fear, regret, anger, and so on — but also our greatest gifts.”
Author and teacher Mark Matousek also notes: “Often, we conceal our true talents, desires, and dreams — the sum total of our forbidden knowledge — even from ourselves.” See more quotes below.
But why go into these hidden parts of ourselves?
Matousek says: “Until you penetrate your own shadow, and explore the gifts, as well as the shame, that you hide there — you cannot truly know yourself or access your deep creativity.”
The power of going deep within
If you are an artist, especially a writer, you probably know of Natalie Goldberg – her acclaimed first book, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, has sold more than a million copies in ten languages.
In an interview, she talked about writing to access your energy and creative intuition.
Read excerpts in my post Natalie Goldberg on letting your inner creator have a say.
Mark Matousek interviewed her for his Psychology Today blog, and asked her some very interesting questions about creative work and exploring our shadow self. Here is an excerpt:
Mark Matousek: Why is writing so empowering, do you think?
We mostly live in discursive thinking. “I want this,” “I have to shop” “I’m mad at so and so.”
That’s all discursive thinking. It’s on the surface.
Writing practice brings you below the surface to really meet what you see, think and feel.
And you keep meeting that and you build a spine, and you find out who you are.
Because when we live in discursive thinking, we’re just lost. By going to that lower layer, we become who we are.
Matousek: Is it different than a painter becoming who he or she is? I know you paint as well.
Goldberg: It’s no different. Painting is my darling pleasure. I don’t make it my practice.
With painting, I have to keep working the surface until I bring out, and fulfill, what wants to come out; and, yes, I guess I do meet my own mind and use the rules of writing practice for painting.
[But this practice can be applied to many things.]
I have businessmen reading my books and saying this approach is about good business. Really, it’s about Zen practice and backed by 2,000 years of watching the mind.
In business [as in everything else,] you have to have integrity. You have to know who you are, where you stand, and what you want.
Matousek: Is writing a healing experience for you?
Goldberg: Yes. But it’s not a personal healing. It’s a healing for all beings.
When you heal yourself, you’re helping everyone. When you become clear, it helps everyone become clear.
~ ~ ~
Mark Matousek on Writing as a Spiritual Practice
The audio in this short video I made is from a past webinar by Mark Matousek.
In 2016 he presented a new one-hour teleseminar (for The Shift Network) called “Writing To Heal Your Shadow: The Power of Uncovering Your Hidden Truths.”
Mark noted: “I will be talking about the power of transformational writing to help us explore our most intimate, intriguing stories and bring healing to shadowy aspects of ourselves that go unexamined in the bustle of everyday life.
“Our shadows contain not only the dark parts — guilt, shame, fear, regret, anger, and so on — but also our greatest gifts.
“Often, we conceal our true talents, desires, and dreams — the sum total of our forbidden knowledge — even from ourselves.
“It is not until we pull back the veil, and dare to see what’s really inside us, that we free these hidden strengths and bring forth our personal genius.
“Writing is an unparalleled tool for healing parts of ourselves that are shielded by pain and shame.
“A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that personal investigation through writing can raise happiness levels, relieve trauma, accelerate positive change through insight, and even boost the immune system.
“Using writing as a tool for self-realization, we learn to liberate the mind of the suffering that comes from believing, and repeating our imprisoning myths.
“When you tell the truth, your story changes. When your story changes, your life is transformed.”
Writing and journaling to be more authentic and creative
Writers and other creative people who have worked with Matousek in his courses credit the journey for helping them be more authentic, attuned to themselves, and creative.
One example is Libuse Binder, author of “Ten Ways to Change the World in Your Twenties” – a “timely roadmap for individuals looking to make a difference — from eating locally and reducing waste, to starting a nonprofit organization or finding a career dedicated to helping others.”
She says “Mark Matousek’s writing instruction is transformative. His classes will change the ways in which you examine your life, and how you think about yourself as a writer.
“He approaches your work with a deep sense of empathy, allowing him to help you tell your story in your voice… No matter what stage of the process you are at…”
~ ~ ~